Bob recognizes the value of preserving the undeveloped open space and agricultural traditions in a community. He directs Marin Agriculture Land Trust (MALT), which acts as a financial resource to local farming and ranching families and as a partner with other organizations and agencies working to preserve agricultural land and local agricultural industry.
Bob explains, “a Land Trust is a private nonprofit organization that actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation acquisition, and by its stewardship of such land or easements”
Land Trusts help keep ranching families on their land. Rock LaFranchi believes that without MALT’s vision, West Marin would have lost its agricultural base long ago. MALT offers two types of assistance: the purchase of agricultural conservation easement, which enable the owner/family to liquidate a portion of a property’s value without having to sell it, and to using the proceeds to buy out co-owners, invest in improvements or expand operations. After MALT acquires an easement it can assist with stream conservation and riparian repairs, noxious weed control, and additional funding assistance.